Uniting the industry around construction technology

I highlighted the need for greater collaboration in construction technology at the beginning of 2020, but I couldn’t have predicted how important this would become as the year unfolded.

The industry continues to face challenges such as a qualified worker shortage, increasingly more complex projects, and resistance to change, but these challenges are now amplified against the backdrop of a global pandemic.

Many projects were shut down or delayed as firms navigated material shortages and other disruptions to the supply chain, while enforcing social distancing and other safety measures on the jobsite.

The role of technology

Construction is an industry that already has high risk and tight profit margins, so many firms felt the impact of the changing landscape. A lot of construction firms are evaluating their current operations to see how they can better prepare for future difficulties.

While it would be impossible to foresee every potential disruption to a project, construction firms can put their businesses in the best possible position to weather uncertain times. Technology plays a pivotal role in this preparation.

Technology is essential to keeping people connected and businesses up and running. Construction businesses are increasingly adopting cloud-based solutions and mobile apps. These help streamline projects, increase efficiency, improve collaboration, and keep their teams in sync.

Technology majorly impacts business planning and forecasting, as well as the bidding process. Estimating software helps businesses produce faster, more-accurate estimates, while accounting and project management solutions automate many processes.

This reduces errors and provides firms with the visibility they need to make the best decisions for their business. As variables change, they can make updates and automatically project the impact that changes will have on their budget.

Working Together

While Sage offers a wide array of best-in-class construction solutions, we understand that many businesses use solutions from multiple vendors and are also often required to use additional solutions when collaborating with external project stakeholders.

We are committed to empowering contractors to use the technology that makes the most sense for their businesses. We call this the “power of choice.” As part of this commitment, we partner with other industry leaders to develop seamless integrations for our mutual customers. However, while Sage tries to make it as easy as possible to integrate with other solutions, this is not the case throughout the entire industry.

Sage is working with other industry leaders to change that. We are proud to be members of the Construction Progress Coalition (CPC), a grassroots organization uniting AEC professionals, organizations, and technology solution providers around a shared vision of construction’s future.

We are actively involved in advancing the CPC’s work—I serve on the CPC Executive Officer Committee as CDX Initiative Director and on the CPC Board of Directors. The nonprofit CPC is pushing for a shared language to define project interoperability standards and is transforming the future of digital project delivery through a Common Data Exchange (CDX).

CPC Resources

Collaboration is at the heart of the CPC’s mission. While we have not gathered in person in recent months, the CPC has found new ways to unite the industry during these challenging times. Here are some of the free educational resources the CPC provides:

  • Virtual roundtable: In April, the CPC began holding a monthly virtual roundtable, uniting industry innovators to discuss the people, process, and technology changes required to transform construction in the digital age. Topics cover a wide range of industry pain points from inclusion and diversity to mental health to working remotely. These roundtables also dive into shared perspectives around the future of technology, examining topics such as digital twin, reality capture, and technology stack. You can view highlights from previous roundtables on CPC’s YouTube channel.
  • Podcast: The CPC created The Shared Pains Podcast in 2018 to provide a platform for industry experts to share their insight on topics that help the industry improve productivity and advance data interoperability standards. You can check out the podcasts on the CPC website.
  • Publications: The CPC annual reports provide more information on the CPC’s recent progress, while the guidelines for construction PDFs and agcXML standards provide further detail into some of CPC’s proposed standards. You can learn more about the CPC’s work through this collated list of publications.

I hope you will find some of these resources helpful as you plan for 2021. While we cannot predict exactly what the future holds, we are stronger when we work together. It is time to unite around common technological goals to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

Learn more about CPC membership options.